January 14, 2015

Hunt asks Congress for data security working group

NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt yesterday reiterated NAFCU's call for House and Senate leaders to develop a bipartisan, bicameral working group to find a legislative solution for a continuing series of retailer data security breaches.

The president has announced he will pursue data security legislation, including a measure that would require merchants to notify consumers when breaches occur. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pointed to "jurisdictional crosscurrents" on this issue following a meeting among the president and party leaders later. "We're going to make another run at breaking through that problem and getting something the president can sign," he said, according to POLITICO.

Hunt, writing to McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., repeated NAFCU's position that "one solution to addressing this challenge could be to establish a bipartisan-bicameral congressional working group charged with developing legislative proposals to help prevent the massive data breaches that have exposed tens of millions of consumer debit and credit cards to fraudulent activity in recent months."

Hunt said credit unions are "on the front lines" of the data security issue and "have a unique understanding of how detrimental such data breaches can be to consumers."

Credit unions are already subject to data security regulation under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but retailers are not. NAFCU was the first financial trade organization to call for national data security standards for retailers after the massive Target data breach, and it continues to push for legislative action on Capitol Hill.

NAFCU is a member of the Payments Security Task Force, a diverse group of participants in the payments industry focused on EMV chip implementation, including ways to help reduce testing and implementation time, as well as driving a discussion on payments system security. NAFCU is also a member of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which work on infrastructure cybersecurity.